Search the Bulletin

Bay-Area Business Group Hosts Robotics Event

By Sohail Bengali ’79


Gil Jones ’01 (right) told alumni visitors about the personal robot, PR2, to his left.

The San Francisco Business Alumni Group hosted 36 alumni, parents, new students, and friends at a recent event at the headquarters of, a “research park” setting in Menlo Park, Calif. Gil Jones ’01 of WillowGarage and Nathaniel Fairfield ’01 of Google were the key presenters.

The day before the event, Gil had some especially good news for us—his CEO had decided to throw a party for his employees, to which we were invited. We arrived to live music and a fabulous Southwestern meal laid out in the cafeteria. Our large group was split into two sessions for up-close and live demonstrations of personal robot PR2 and all of the knowledge and history behind the development and funding of the research tools.

After the demonstrations, Gil and Nathaniel spoke. Gil talked about the “reality” of robotics and the future that robotics holds for scientists, industry, investor, and game-changing lifestyles, and Nathaniel described the experimentation and creation of the Google driverless car—how its programs and functionality were developed and where it is headed. Many excited and probing questions followed from an audience that—in typical Swarthmore style—felt compelled to analyze everything. The event sparked lots of connections, happy faces, shrieks of delight at meeting old friends and making new ones.

—Sohail Bengali ’79

Comments are closed.